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Horticulturae, Volume 9, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 123 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Aquaponics combines fish and crop production through recirculating water. Fish metabolic products are used for the fertilization of crops; thus, the waste is turned into a resource under the circular economy concept. Nevertheless, some essential nutrients for crop growth are often at sub-optimal concentrations. Spinach functional responses and crop and fish growth were studied in aquaponics subjected to minimal nutrient supplementation. Fe-deficiency was identified as the major bottleneck for spinach cultivation in closed-loop aquaponics. The results demonstrate that only Fe supplementation may sufficiently improve spinach function and yield, by increasing photosynthetic rates and photochemical efficiency, mainly due to a higher quantum yield of electron transport. View this paper
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16 pages, 306 KiB  
Review
Impact of Organic Acids and Biological Treatments in Foliar Nutrition on Tomato and Pepper Plants
by Mohunnad Massimi, László Radócz and András Csótó
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030413 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
As a result of global warming related to the development of industry and agriculture, the proportion of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased, and temperatures have risen to unprecedented levels. As a result, heat stress, aridity, and salinity in soil has increased, leading to [...] Read more.
As a result of global warming related to the development of industry and agriculture, the proportion of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased, and temperatures have risen to unprecedented levels. As a result, heat stress, aridity, and salinity in soil has increased, leading to significant research focused on soil deterioration and reduced agricultural productivity. Therefore, it is necessary to provide the means to maintain crop productivity. Agricultural research is seeking novel solutions that guarantee stability and increase the production and quality of crops, including innovative models for feeding crops using non-traditional methods, the most important of which is nourishing plants via their leaves to ensure the cessation of their soil consumption. It is considered an integrated pest-control method, and the technique could be included in plant nutrition. Foliar nutrition has been shown to be a perfect substitute for providing secondary nutrients and micronutrients to plants; however, it cannot be substituted for the fertigation or the fertilization of maintain the soil’s macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). This study shed light on the most important research, conclusions, and generalizations on the technique of foliar feeding using organic acids and biological treatments, especially for tomato and pepper plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
14 pages, 2485 KiB  
Article
High Frequency Direct Organogenesis in Five Romanian Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) Cultivars
by Adela Halmagyi, Ana Coste, Constantin Deliu and Ioan Băcilă
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030411 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as the most economically important vegetable crop worldwide has been investigated intensively for the development of new and improved varieties. Most of these technologies require efficient protocols for in vitro regeneration and propagation of plant material. In the [...] Read more.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) as the most economically important vegetable crop worldwide has been investigated intensively for the development of new and improved varieties. Most of these technologies require efficient protocols for in vitro regeneration and propagation of plant material. In the present study, an efficient and reproducible in vitro regeneration system for five Romanian tomato genotypes (cvs. ‘Capriciu’, ‘Darsirius’, ‘Kristin’, ‘Pontica’ and ‘Siriana’) has been established. The tomato genotypes were selected based on their horticultural and economically valuable traits. To study the in vitro morphogenic response, various explants, such as cotyledons, cotyledonary nodes, hypocotyls, leaf explants, internodes, stem nodes and apical buds have been selected. The highest efficiency in terms of direct shoot organogenesis was obtained in cv. ‘Capriciu’ (98% for apical buds and 94% for stem nodes) on culture media with zeatin and indole-3-butyric acid. One advantage of this regeneration procedure is beside its feasibility in handling, the high percentage of regenerated shoots and their rooting. The present protocol contributes to the existing information regarding the response of tomato cultivars to in vitro culture conditions. Full article
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14 pages, 4338 KiB  
Article
Lignification in Zinnia (Zinnia elegans Jacq.) Stem Sections of Different Age: Biochemical and Molecular Genetic Traits
by Anastasia S. Tugbaeva, Alexander A. Ermoshin, Hada Wuriyanghan and Irina S. Kiseleva
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030410 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1601
Abstract
Lignification of the stem in zinnia provides its mechanical properties due to xylem formation, which depends on the stage of plant development and is responsible for the transport of water and minerals. The study was aimed at the lignin deposition, anatomical traits, biochemical [...] Read more.
Lignification of the stem in zinnia provides its mechanical properties due to xylem formation, which depends on the stage of plant development and is responsible for the transport of water and minerals. The study was aimed at the lignin deposition, anatomical traits, biochemical markers of lignification, as well as the genetic regulation of this process in zinnia stem cross sections of different age during their radial growth. The anatomical traits were assessed on cross sections. The content of lignin (Cysteine-assisted sulfuric method (CASA) and the thioglycolic acid (TGA) methods), the spectrum of phenolics (by thin layer chromatography (TLC)), the total activity and the variety of class III peroxidases were determined. The expression level of genes regulating phenylpropanoids and lignin biosynthesis were assessed. We suggest that time-specific and organ-specific lignification is determined by the metabolism of phenolic compounds and depends on the expression of genes of the phenylpropanoid pathway. It was shown that in the hypocotyl, during xylem ring formation, lignification was associated with increased expression of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) genes responsible for the early stages of the phenylpropanoid pathway, and with the rise of class III peroxidases activity, including cationic isoforms. This caused increased content and diversity of phenolics in mature hypocotyl. In epicotyl, which is younger than the hypocotyl, the proportion of ferulic acid among phenolics increased, which could be considered as a marker of lignification in it. The high expression level of CAD and the activity of peroxidases, including anionic isoforms, led to accumulation of lignin. Thus, the hypocotyl and epicotyl, being characterized by different ages, differed in spectrum of phenolics, isoforms of class III peroxidases, expression of the PAL, cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H), peroxidases III class (PRX), and laccase (LAC) genes, and lignin content. Full article
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16 pages, 6832 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Qualitative Attributes for Selection of Calabaza Genotypes in the Southeast United States
by Skylar R. Moreno, Masoud Yazdanpanah, Tianyi Huang, Charles A. Sims, Carlene A. Chase, Geoffrey Meru, Amarat Simonne and Andrew J. MacIntosh
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030409 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1896
Abstract
Cucurbita moschata, commonly known as winter squash, tropical squash, and calabaza, is native to Central America. This tropical squash thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, including parts of the southeastern U.S. and is very popular among people of Hispanic and West Indian [...] Read more.
Cucurbita moschata, commonly known as winter squash, tropical squash, and calabaza, is native to Central America. This tropical squash thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, including parts of the southeastern U.S. and is very popular among people of Hispanic and West Indian heritage. Development of calabaza cultivars that meet consumer acceptability is a major goal in breeding programs. The current study aims to determine and compare the quality parameters of novel calabaza germplasm lines with that of commercially available cultivars of calabaza (La Estrella and Soler) and butternut squash (Whatman Butternut). All cultivars ranged greatly in quality parameters, with the most promising germplasms highlighted within the study including UFTP 8 and UFTP 24. The basis of this ranking was dependent on these germplasm lines’ desirable attributes, including their color saturation (chroma (>80) (using the CIELAB scale)), °Brix (11.6 and 10.7 respectively), yeast fermentable extract (>67%), and firmness/hardness, (>3600). These findings show the potential to enhance consumer preferences for calabaza through breeding and provides a basis for commercial release of the superior germplasm identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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32 pages, 3779 KiB  
Review
Allium Species in the Balkan Region—Major Metabolites, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties
by Sandra Vuković, Jelena B. Popović-Djordjević, Aleksandar Ž. Kostić, Nebojša Dj. Pantelić, Nikola Srećković, Muhammad Akram, Umme Laila and Jelena S. Katanić Stanković
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030408 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3476
Abstract
Ever since ancient times, Allium species have played a significant role in the human diet, in traditional medicine for the treatment of many ailments, and in officinal medicine as a supplemental ingredient. The major metabolites of alliums, as well as their antioxidant and [...] Read more.
Ever since ancient times, Allium species have played a significant role in the human diet, in traditional medicine for the treatment of many ailments, and in officinal medicine as a supplemental ingredient. The major metabolites of alliums, as well as their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, with an emphasis on the species most represented in the Balkan region, are discussed in this review. Due to its richness in endemic species, the Balkan region is considered the genocenter of alliums. There are 56 recorded Allium species in the Balkans, and 17 of them are endemic. The most common and well-studied Allium species in the Balkans are A. cepa (onion), A. sativum (garlic), A. ampeloprasum (leek), A. schoenoprasum (chives), A. fistulosum (Welsh onion), and A. ursinum (wild garlic or bear’s garlic), which are known for their pungent taste and smell, especially noticeable in garlic and onion, and attributed to various organosulfur compounds. These plants are valued for their macronutrients and are used as desirable vegetables and spices. Additionally, phytochemicals such as organosulfur compounds, phenolics, fatty acids, and saponins are associated with the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of these species, among many other bioactivities. All parts of the plant including the bulb, peel, clove, leaf, pseudostem, root, flower, and seed exhibit antioxidant properties in different in vitro assays. The characteristic phytocompounds that contribute to the antimicrobial activity of alliums include allicin, ajoene, allyl alcohol, and some diallyl sulfides. Nanoparticles synthesized using Allium species are also recognized for their notable antimicrobial properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemical Composition and Bioactivity of Horticultural Products)
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7 pages, 907 KiB  
Communication
An Optimized Protocol for In Vitro Regeneration of Ocimum basilicum cv. FT Italiko
by Sara Barberini, Chiara Forti, Marina Laura, Roberto Ciorba, Carlo Mascarello, Annalisa Giovannini, Barbara Ruffoni and Marco Savona
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030407 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.; Fam. Lamiaceae) is an annual herbaceous plant with a high economic value used in folk medicine, pharmacology, and food production. In Italy, most of the varieties are used to produce the famous “pesto” sauce; however, almost all [...] Read more.
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.; Fam. Lamiaceae) is an annual herbaceous plant with a high economic value used in folk medicine, pharmacology, and food production. In Italy, most of the varieties are used to produce the famous “pesto” sauce; however, almost all of them are susceptible to basil downy mildew (BDM) disease, strongly decreasing the growth of the fresh leaves and the survival of the whole plant. Nowadays, CRISPR/Cas9 technology is recognized to be a prominent way to enhance basil genetic breeding. In this work, we present an optimized protocol for in vitro direct regeneration of an elite cultivar, which is the major limiting factor for the transformation of O. basilicum. Regeneration has been obtained from different explants (leaves, cotyledons, cotyledonary nodes); the highest frequency has been obtained from cotyledonary nodes of seedlings germinated on MS medium containing TDZ. This protocol may be used for biotechnological applications as genome editing techniques to obtain basil-downy-mildew-disease-resistant clones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Propagation and Biotechnology of Horticultural Plants)
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11 pages, 1019 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Vermicompost and Green Manure Use on Yield and Economic Factors in Broccoli
by Fulya Gul Tascı and Canan Oztokat Kuzucu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030406 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the yield, quality and unit production cost of broccoli grown under green manure, vermicompost and chemical fertilization. For this purpose, broccoli plants were cultivated as follows: (i) Chemical fertilization (CF), (ii) Vermicompost fertilization (V), (iii) [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the yield, quality and unit production cost of broccoli grown under green manure, vermicompost and chemical fertilization. For this purpose, broccoli plants were cultivated as follows: (i) Chemical fertilization (CF), (ii) Vermicompost fertilization (V), (iii) Vermicompost fertilization (VeV) in the common vetch cultivated land as a pre-plant and (iv) Vetch (Ve) as a pre-plant. Curd yield (g plant−1), SPAD, vitamin C (mg 100 g−1), total phenolics (mg GAE 100 mL−1), total sugar (%) and soluble solid content (SSC%) were determined. In addition, input usage levels and costs, unit product cost and gross and net profit analyzes were investigated for all treatments. The highest total curd weight was obtained from VeV treatment (1567.77 g), while the lowest mean was reached in Ve plots with 819.70 g. The highest SPAD values were detected in CF (70.20) and VeV plots (69.76) similar to yield values. The highest vitamin C and total phenolics content were detected in V plots (92.31 mg 100 g−1) (1308.87 mg GAE 100 mL−1). The combined effect of Ve and V increased the yield and quality of the broccoli curds. As a result of economic analysis, approximately twice the net profit difference emerged in VeV treatment compared to other treatments. It was determined that a gross profit of 68% of gross production value and net profit of 64% were obtained. Full article
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17 pages, 5226 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Drip Irrigation on the Length and Distribution of Apple Tree Roots
by Pavel Svoboda, Jan Haberle, Michal Moulik, Ivana Raimanová, Gabriela Kurešová and Martin Mészáros
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030405 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
In a three-year experiment (2019–2021), the roots of 7-year-old apple trees (Malus domestica cv. ‘Red Jonaprince’) grown under drip irrigation were studied. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of irrigation on root density at different depths and distances [...] Read more.
In a three-year experiment (2019–2021), the roots of 7-year-old apple trees (Malus domestica cv. ‘Red Jonaprince’) grown under drip irrigation were studied. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of irrigation on root density at different depths and distances from the trunk. The working hypothesis assumed that irrigation significantly affects the total length of apple roots. The irrigation treatments corresponding to the calculated water evapotranspiration (ET100), 50% of the calculated ET (ET50), a control (ET0, no irrigation, under rainfed conditions), and a treatment using double-drip lines (2Drops) were monitored. Soil cores were collected in spring and autumn. The total length of the roots (TRLt) and the length of new vital roots (TRLv) to a depth of 80 cm were evaluated. The effects of treatments were mostly insignificant for the TRLt; only in the dry season in 2019 were the TRLt values of the irrigated treatments (ET50 and ET100) significantly higher, 18.67 km·m−2 and 17.45 km·m−2, in comparison to 11.16 km·m−2 for the ET0, at a 10 cm distance from the tree trunk. The irrigation treatments had a statistically significant effect on the TRLv values near the trunk in 2019 and 2020, while in autumn 2020 and 2021, irrigation significantly affected the TRLv at greater distances from the tree trunk. In summary, the irrigation treatments mostly had no significant effect on the total root length. However, an effect of irrigation on the root length of new vital roots was observed at certain sampling dates and distances from the trunk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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14 pages, 3081 KiB  
Article
Effects of LED Lights and New Long-Term-Release Fertilizers on Lettuce Growth: A Contribution for Sustainable Horticulture
by Elisabetta Sgarbi, Giulia Santunione, Francesco Barbieri, Monia Montorsi, Isabella Lancellotti and Luisa Barbieri
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030404 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
The horticulture sector has been directed by European guidelines to improve its practices related to environmental sustainability. Moreover, the practice of horticulture in urban areas is increasing since it provides fresh products that are locally produced. At the same time, horticulture needs to [...] Read more.
The horticulture sector has been directed by European guidelines to improve its practices related to environmental sustainability. Moreover, the practice of horticulture in urban areas is increasing since it provides fresh products that are locally produced. At the same time, horticulture needs to implement circular economy approaches and energy-efficient models. Therefore, to address these issues, this study investigated the effects of an integrated fertilizer-box-based cultivation system equipped with LED lights and coated porous inorganic materials (C-PIMs), which was applied as fertilizer, on Lactuca sativa L. growth. Two different types of lightweight aggregates were formulated considering agri-food and post-consumer waste, and they were enriched with potassium and phosphorus. Involving waste in the process was part of their valorization in the circular economy. Using PIMs as fertilizers enabled the controlled release of nutrients over time. The tests were carried out in controlled conditions using two LED lighting systems capable of changing their light spectrum according to the growth phases of the plants. The effects of two different lighting schemes on the growth of lettuce plants, in combination with different amounts of aggregates, were studied. The results showed that increasing the amount of C-PIMs statistically improved the lettuce growth in terms of dry biomass production (+60% and +34% for two different types of PIM application) when the plants were exposed to the first LED scheme (LED-1). Plant height and leaf areas significantly increased when exposed to the second LED scheme (LED-2), in combination with the presence of C-PIMs in the soil. The analysis of the heavy metal contents in the lettuce leaves and the soil at the end of the test revealed that these elements remained significantly below the legislated thresholds. The experimental achievements of this study identified a new approach to improve the environmental sustainability of horticulture, especially in an urban/domestic context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Compost Applications in Horticultural Production)
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11 pages, 433 KiB  
Article
A Predictive Model of Nutrient Recovery from RAS Drum-Screen Effluent for Reuse in Aquaponics
by Joseph Tetreault, Rachel L. Fogle, Ashly Ramos and Michael B. Timmons
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030403 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) optimizes growth parameters for vegetable and aquaculture production and can be used to address growing global food insecurity. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) generate a nutrient-dense effluent that may result in environmental pollution, but with treatment and integration with hydroponic [...] Read more.
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) optimizes growth parameters for vegetable and aquaculture production and can be used to address growing global food insecurity. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) generate a nutrient-dense effluent that may result in environmental pollution, but with treatment and integration with hydroponic vegetable production may be repurposed as a naturally derived nutrient solution. This work developed a preliminary model using the system feed rate to calculate a plant-essential nutrient discharge rate in RAS effluent. Loading rate equations were created to calculate the daily mass of nutrients entering the system through fish feed, and discharge rate equations were created to calculate the grams of each nutrient discharged in the effluent per kilogram of feed. Data from previous published work were used for validation. The loading-rate percentage discharged for nutrients present in the effluent was between 2.71% and 64.5%, with several nutrients being prominent pollutants and all being required for vegetable growth. This work provides the preliminary framework for calculating nutrient discharge rates, which can be used to mitigate pollution or develop more precise, naturally derived hydroponic nutrient solutions for a circular bioeconomy in CEA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Residual Materials as Fertilizers)
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12 pages, 1407 KiB  
Article
Determination of Hourly Distribution of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) Using Sex Pheromone and Ultraviolet Light Traps in Protected Tomato Crops
by Gui-Fen Zhang, Yi-Bo Zhang, Lin Zhao, Yu-Sheng Wang, Cong Huang, Zhi-Chuang Lü, Ping Li, Wan-Cai Liu, Xiao-Qing Xian, Jing-Na Zhao, Ya-Hong Li, Fang-Hao Wan, Wan-Xue Liu and Fu-Lian Wang
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030402 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), a leafminer that damages tomato leaves, terminal buds, flowers, and fruits, is a destructive tomato pest and is responsible for 80–100% of tomato yield losses globally. Different insect species have different courtship responses and phototropic flight rhythms. Improving the trapping [...] Read more.
Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), a leafminer that damages tomato leaves, terminal buds, flowers, and fruits, is a destructive tomato pest and is responsible for 80–100% of tomato yield losses globally. Different insect species have different courtship responses and phototropic flight rhythms. Improving the trapping effects of the sex pheromone and light traps is important for constructing an IPM system for T. absoluta. The present study explored the hourly distribution of T. absoluta adults caught by the sex pheromone (on the ground) and UV light (380 nm) traps in greenhouses over 24 h. The responses of males to sex pheromone (false female) lures were detected at dawn and early morning. The responses lasted for 3 h, from 05:30 (1 h before sunrise) to 08:30 (2 h after sunrise), and 95.8% of the males were caught during this period. The peak of the male responses to the sex pheromone was detected at 07:30 (from 06:30 to 07:30, 1 h after sunrise), and 80.8% of the males were caught during this period. The flight of male (proportion of 54.3%) and female (45.7%) adults toward the UV light traps occurred from 19:30 (time of sunset) to 06:30 (time of sunrise), lasted for 11 h, and exhibited a scotophase rhythm; 97.4% of the adults were caught during this period. The peak of adults flying toward the UV light traps occurred at 21:30 (from 20:30 to 21:30, 2 h after sunset). The rhythms of males’ responses to the sex pheromone and of the adults’ flight toward the UV lights can help to reveal the mechanisms of chemotactic and phototactic responses and may play a significant role in constructing an IPM system for this pest. Full article
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17 pages, 3048 KiB  
Article
Farmers’ Intention to Adopt Agronomic Biofortification: The Case of Iodine Biofortified Vegetables in Uganda
by Nathaline Onek Aparo, Solomon Olum, Alice Onek Atimango, Walter Odongo, Bonny Aloka, Duncan Ongeng, Xavier Gellynck and Hans De Steur
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030401 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
Agronomic biofortification, the application of fertilizer to increase micronutrient concentrations in staple food crops, has been increasingly promoted as a valuable approach to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies, but its success inevitably depends on farmers’ acceptance and adoption. By using iodine fertilizers as a case, [...] Read more.
Agronomic biofortification, the application of fertilizer to increase micronutrient concentrations in staple food crops, has been increasingly promoted as a valuable approach to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies, but its success inevitably depends on farmers’ acceptance and adoption. By using iodine fertilizers as a case, this study aimed to understand vegetable farmers’ intentions to adopt agronomic biofortification. Therefore, the focus is on the potential role of socio-psychological factors, derived from two well-established theoretical models in explaining adoption intentions. Data from a cross-sectional survey of 465 cowpea and cabbage farmers from a high-risk region of Uganda were analyzed using binary logistic regression. The findings show that 75% of the farmers are likely to adopt agronomic iodine biofortification and are willing to devote a substantial part of their land to this innovation. Farmers’ intention to adopt strongly depends on their attitude and control beliefs regarding iodine biofortification, vegetable type, access to extension services, and farmland size. This study highlights the crucial role that behavioral and attitude factors play in communities at risk for nutritional disorders’ potential acceptance and sustained implementation of vegetable biofortification. To reinforce the observed positive inclination towards iodine biofortification among vegetable farmers, it is essential to increase awareness of the benefits, potential risks, and consequences of iodine deficiency, accompanied by motivational strategies to enhance farmers’ inherent beliefs in their ability to implement this innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetable Biofortification: Strategies, Benefits and Challenges)
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20 pages, 6729 KiB  
Article
Reasearch on Kiwi Fruit Flower Recognition for Efficient Pollination Based on an Improved YOLOv5 Algorithm
by Haili Zhou, Junlang Ou, Penghao Meng, Junhua Tong, Hongbao Ye and Zhen Li
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030400 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
A close relationship has been observed between the growth and development of kiwi fruit and the pollination of the kiwi flower. Flower overlap, flower tilt, and other problems will affect this plant’s pollination success rate. A pollination model based on YOLOv5 was developed [...] Read more.
A close relationship has been observed between the growth and development of kiwi fruit and the pollination of the kiwi flower. Flower overlap, flower tilt, and other problems will affect this plant’s pollination success rate. A pollination model based on YOLOv5 was developed to improve the pollination of kiwi flowers. The K-means++ clustering method was used to cluster the anchors closer to the target size, which improved the speed of the algorithm. A convolutional block module attention mechanism was incorporated to improve the extraction accuracy with respect to kiwi flower features and effectively reduce the missed detection and error rates. The optimization of the detection function improves the recognition of flower overlap and the accuracy of flower tilt angle calculation and accurately determines flower coordinates, pollination point coordinates, and pollination angles. The experimental results show that the predicted value of the YOLOv5s model is 96.7% and that its recognition accuracy is the highest. Its mean average precision value is up to 89.1%, its F1 score ratio is 90.12%, and its memory requirements are the smallest (only 20 MB). The YOLOv5s model achieved the highest recognition accuracy as determined through a comparison experiment of the four sets of analysed models, thereby demonstrating its ability to facilitate the efficient target pollination of kiwi flowers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Smart Technology and Equipment in Horticulture)
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36 pages, 5810 KiB  
Review
Technologies and Innovative Methods for Precision Viticulture: A Comprehensive Review
by Massimo Vincenzo Ferro and Pietro Catania
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030399 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4581
Abstract
The potential of precision viticulture has been highlighted since the first studies performed in the context of viticulture, but especially in the last decade there have been excellent results have been achieved in terms of innovation and simple application. The deployment of new [...] Read more.
The potential of precision viticulture has been highlighted since the first studies performed in the context of viticulture, but especially in the last decade there have been excellent results have been achieved in terms of innovation and simple application. The deployment of new sensors for vineyard monitoring is set to increase in the coming years, enabling large amounts of information to be obtained. However, the large number of sensors developed and the great amount of data that can be collected are not always easy to manage, as it requires cross-sectoral expertise. The preliminary section of the review presents the scenario of precision viticulture, highlighting its potential and possible applications. This review illustrates the types of sensors and their operating principles. Remote platforms such as satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and proximal platforms are also presented. Some supervised and unsupervised algorithms used for object-based image segmentation and classification (OBIA) are then discussed, as well as a description of some vegetation indices (VI) used in viticulture. Photogrammetric algorithms for 3D canopy modelling using dense point clouds are illustrated. Finally, some machine learning and deep learning algorithms are illustrated for processing and interpreting big data to understand the vineyard agronomic and physiological status. This review shows that to perform accurate vineyard surveys and evaluations, it is important to select the appropriate sensor or platform, so the algorithms used in post-processing depend on the type of data collected. Several aspects discussed are fundamental to the understanding and implementation of vineyard variability monitoring techniques. However, it is evident that in the future, artificial intelligence and new equipment will become increasingly relevant for the detection and management of spatial variability through an autonomous approach. Full article
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16 pages, 1215 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms Underlying the C3–CAM Photosynthetic Shift in Facultative CAM Plants
by Shuo Qiu, Ke Xia, Yanni Yang, Qiaofen Wu and Zhiguo Zhao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030398 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3468
Abstract
Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), one of three kinds of photosynthesis, is a water-use efficient adaptation to an arid environment. CAM is characterized by CO2 uptake via open stomata during the nighttime and refixation CO2 via the Calvin cycle during the daytime. [...] Read more.
Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), one of three kinds of photosynthesis, is a water-use efficient adaptation to an arid environment. CAM is characterized by CO2 uptake via open stomata during the nighttime and refixation CO2 via the Calvin cycle during the daytime. Facultative CAM plants can shift the photosynthesis from C3 to CAM and exhibit greater plasticity in CAM expression under different environments. Though leaf thickness is an important anatomical feature of CAM plants, there may be no anatomical feature changes during the C3–CAM transition for all facultative CAM plants. The shift from C3 photosynthesis to CAM in facultative CAM plants is accompanied by significant changes in physiology including stomata opening, CO2 gas exchange and organic acid fluxes; the activities of many decarboxylating enzymes increase during the shift from C3 to CAM; the molecular changes occur during the photosynthesis C3–CAM shift involved DNA hypermethylation, transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional regulation and protein level regulation. Recently, omics approaches were used to discover more proceedings underling the C3–CAM transition. However, there are few reviews on the mechanisms involved in this photosynthetic shift in facultative CAM plants. In this paper, we summarize the progress in the comparative analysis of anatomical, physiological, metabolic and molecular properties of facultative CAM plants between C3 and CAM photosynthesis. Facultative CAM plants also show the potential for sustainable food crop and biomass production. We also discuss the implications of the photosynthesis transition from C3 to CAM on horticultural crops and address future directions for research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological and Molecular Biology Research on Ornamental Flower)
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8 pages, 704 KiB  
Article
Particle Films Combined with Propolis Have Positive Effects in Reducing Bactrocera oleae Attacks on Olive Fruits
by Elissa Daher, Gabriele Rondoni, Nicola Cinosi, Eric Conti and Franco Famiani
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030397 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1223
Abstract
The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is a major pest of olive trees in several areas of the world. Testing novel preventive methods against B. oleae infestations is paramount. The use of particle film in eluding B. oleae and avoiding oviposition is [...] Read more.
The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is a major pest of olive trees in several areas of the world. Testing novel preventive methods against B. oleae infestations is paramount. The use of particle film in eluding B. oleae and avoiding oviposition is one of the main strategies adopted by olive growers; however, choices are often limited to kaolin. Under field conditions, we tested the efficacy of novel compounds, including particle films, for their effectiveness as oviposition deterrents against B. oleae. The trial was conducted from July to October 2021 in an olive orchard located in central Italy. One olive variety, Borgiona, was selected and sprayed with propolis, rock powder, kaolin, the mixture of propolis and rock powder, the mixture of propolis and kaolin and water (control). Laboratory analyses were conducted to study the effects of the treatments on the fruit maturity index. As per the field trial, the rock powder and propolis mixture caused a reduction of B. oleae infestation with respect to the control (water), similarly to kaolin. Moreover, the mixture of kaolin and propolis exhibited the best results among all treatments. When mixed with propolis, particle films showed higher protection from B. oleae than when applied alone, suggesting a synergistic effect, and demonstrating an interesting role of propolis as an adjuvant. No delay in fruit maturity was noticed. Our results indicate that the tested products have the potential to be incorporated into management programs of B. oleae, although possible side effects on olive physiology require additional investigations. Full article
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14 pages, 1563 KiB  
Article
Effects of Applying Nitrogen and Potassium on Lilium lancifolium Growth and Accumulation of Secondary Metabolites in Bulbs
by Yunxia Wang, Hubai Bu, Han Wang, Ping Zhang and Lei Jin
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030396 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Lilium lancifolium is a plant resource used as both medicine and food because it is enriched with polysaccharides, polyphenol compounds, and saponins. Increasing the quality of Lilium species is based largely on improvement using methods such as selective breeding and proper fertilization. In [...] Read more.
Lilium lancifolium is a plant resource used as both medicine and food because it is enriched with polysaccharides, polyphenol compounds, and saponins. Increasing the quality of Lilium species is based largely on improvement using methods such as selective breeding and proper fertilization. In this study, we investigated the different responses of L. lancifolium bulbs to treatment with nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) in Hoagland solution. A pot experiment was conducted with four N rates and five K rates under a completely random design. The agronomic traits, N and K contents, and concentrations of active compounds were determined in bulbs, including total phenols, flavonoids, polysaccharides, and saponins. L. lancifolium treated with N and K exhibited increases in the plant height, leaf number, and chlorophyll content compared with the control (N0 + K0). The bulb circumference increased by 17.41% under N2 (609.80 mg L−1) + K2 (523.34 mg L−1) compared with N0 + K0. Individual or combined application of N and K increased the total phenol, flavonoid, and saponin contents, especially under N2 + K3, with the highest increases of 1.87–2.93 times compared with N0 + K0. However, the individual application of N decreased the polysaccharide contents by 2.78–42.04%. Hoagland solution containing 443.24–572.87 mg L−1 N and 573.61–759.16 mg L−1 K is recommended to improve the active contents of bulb components based on regression analysis. Our results demonstrate that the combined application of N and K is important for obtaining high-quality L. lancifolium bulbs. Full article
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15 pages, 3060 KiB  
Article
Modelling Soil Water Redistribution in Irrigated Japanese Plum (Prunus salicina) Orchards in the Western Cape (South Africa)
by Nebojša Jovanović, Nonofo Motsei, Munashe Mashabatu and Timothy Dube
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030395 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Japanese plum (Prunus salicina) farming in the Western Cape (South Africa) is an important industry for the export market and job creation and is a large water user; however, adequate information on water requirements of this crop is not available in [...] Read more.
Japanese plum (Prunus salicina) farming in the Western Cape (South Africa) is an important industry for the export market and job creation and is a large water user; however, adequate information on water requirements of this crop is not available in this semi-arid area. The objective of this study was to determine seasonal plum water requirements for the purpose of water use planning and allocation. The study made use of experimental data from four fully bearing, high-yielding plum orchards (cv African Delight and Fortune) in two major plum production regions (Robertson and Wellington). Crop water requirements and the soil water balance were modelled with the physically based HYDRUS-2D model. Seasonal crop water requirements were estimated to be between 524 mm (cv Fortune in Wellington) and 864 mm (cv African Delight in Robertson). Initial basal crop coefficients (Kcb) ranged between 0.98 and 1.01, whilst Kcb for the mid-stage averaged between 1.11 (cv African Delight in Robertson) and 1.18 (cv Fortune in Wellington). Modelling scenarios indicated that soil water redistribution beyond the root zone continues at reduced rates after the soil dries to levels below field capacity. Irrigation management needs to be balanced with other farming practices to reduce leaching and impacts on water resource quality, as well as with the economics of the farm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Water Resources Management for Horticulture)
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14 pages, 1358 KiB  
Article
Fruit Cuticle Composition in ‘Arbequina’ Olive: Time–Course Changes along On-Tree Ripening under Irrigated and Rain-Fed Conditions
by Clara Diarte, Anna Iglesias, Jordi Graell and Isabel Lara
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030394 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 957
Abstract
Olive (Olea europaea L.) fruit and derived products play a pivotal role in the Mediterranean diet, to which they contribute their gastronomic value and their health-promoting properties. The fruit cuticle constitutes the interface between the plant and the surrounding environment, and it [...] Read more.
Olive (Olea europaea L.) fruit and derived products play a pivotal role in the Mediterranean diet, to which they contribute their gastronomic value and their health-promoting properties. The fruit cuticle constitutes the interface between the plant and the surrounding environment, and it modulates relevant traits such as water loss, mechanical resistance, and susceptibility to pests and rots. Hence, a better knowledge of fruit cuticle properties and the impact thereupon of agronomic factors could help improving olive grove management. In this work, time–course changes in fruit cuticle yields and composition were assessed during the on-tree ripening of ‘Arbequina’ olives obtained from irrigated or rain-fed trees grown at a commercial grove located in El Soleràs (Catalonia, Spain), where low annual rainfall occur together with cold winters and hot dry summers. Significantly higher wax contents were observed for rain-fed than for irrigated fruits, both in relative (% over total cuticle) and in absolute terms (from 231 to 840 µg cm−2 and from 212 to 560 µg cm−2, respectively, contingent upon the maturity stage), in agreement with their proposed role as a barrier against water loss. Compositional differences in cuticular waxes and in cutin monomers were also detected between irrigated and rain-fed olives, with major changes involving significantly higher loads per surface area of triterpenoids and ω-hydroxy fatty acids in the latter. In contrast to the load and composition of cuticular wax, no apparent impact of irrigation was observed on either total cuticle yields or cuticle thickness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue More than a Wrap: The Role of Fruit Skin in Defining Fruit Quality)
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15 pages, 6031 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of the Sweet Orange bZIP Gene Family and Analysis of Their Expression in Response to Infection by Penicillium digitatum
by Peichen Han, Tuo Yin, Dengxian Xi, Xiuyao Yang, Mengjie Zhang, Ling Zhu, Hanyao Zhang and Xiaozhen Liu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030393 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1238
Abstract
(1) Background: The sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is the most widely cultivated and productive citrus fruit in the world, with considerable economic value and good prospects for development. However, post-harvest storage and transport of the fruit are often affected by infestation [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is the most widely cultivated and productive citrus fruit in the world, with considerable economic value and good prospects for development. However, post-harvest storage and transport of the fruit are often affected by infestation by Penicillium species, leading to many losses. (2) Methods: In this study, the family of bZIP genes from the whole genome of sweet orange was identified and analyzed in detail in terms of gene structure, physicochemical properties, protein structure, conserved structural domains, chromosomal positioning, and promoter analysis using bioinformatic analysis, in addition to an analysis of the expression patterns of the fruit following Penicillium infection. (3) Results: In this study, 50 CsbZIP genes were identified from the sweet orange genome. In silico analysis showed that Cs_ont_3g005140 was presumably localized in the chloroplasts, while the rest of the family members were located in the nucleus. Phylogenetic trees of grape, apple, Arabidopsis, and sweet orange were constructed on the basis of evolutionary relationships and divided into 16 subfamilies. Conserved motif analysis showed that all CsbZIP family genes encode proteins containing the highly conserved Motif 1. Promoter prediction analysis showed the chromosomal positioning, and the covariance analysis showed that the 50 CsbZIPs were unevenly distributed on nine chromosomes, with 10 pairs of duplicated genes. In the analysis of expression patterns, 11 of the 50 CsbZIP genes were not expressed, 12 were upregulated, 27 were downregulated, and five of the upregulated genes were highly expressed. (4) Conclusions: In this study, two CsbZIP members were each closely related to two Arabidopsis thaliana genes associated with salt stress. The functions of the replicated and re-differentiated CsbZIP homologs (Cs_ont_1g027160 and Cs_ont_8g020880) divergee further, with one responding to inoculation by Penicillium and the other not doing so. Five genes associated with sweet orange in response to Penicillium infestation were initially screened (Cs_ont_3g000400, Cs_ont_3g003210, Cs_ont_5g007090, Cs_ont_5g011180, Cs_ont_8g020880). This study provides some theoretical basis for subsequent research into the response mechanism of sweet orange bZIP transcription factors under biotic stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Response Mechanisms of Trees under Abiotic Stresses)
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14 pages, 2057 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Plant Growth Regulators and Floral Cluster Thinning on the Fruit Quality of ‘Shine Muscat’ Grape
by Sujung Choi, Seunghyun Ban and Cheol Choi
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030392 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3433
Abstract
Plant growth regulators (PGRs) and floral cluster thinning are commonly used to improve grape yield and quality, but their effects on different fruit quality attributes in the ‘Shine Muscat’ are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the impact of PGRs and [...] Read more.
Plant growth regulators (PGRs) and floral cluster thinning are commonly used to improve grape yield and quality, but their effects on different fruit quality attributes in the ‘Shine Muscat’ are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the impact of PGRs and floral cluster thinning on various fruit quality parameters such as the cluster weight, berry weight, diameter, shape, sugar and acid content, firmness, and residual feel of peel. Our results indicate that the gibberellic acid 3 (GA3) 25 mg/L + thidiazuron (TDZ) 5 mg/L treatment at full bloom and GA3 25 mg/L treatment at 12 days after full bloom showed the largest cluster weight, berry weight, and diameter, while the forchlorfenuron (CPPU)-treated group, with a more balanced effect on fruit skin and flesh firmness, had the highest proportion of a positive residual feel of the peel. Floral cluster thinning by 4 cm was found to be effective for promoting fruit growth and maintaining an appropriate sugar–acid ratio, while thinning by 5 cm resulted in a higher number of berries but smaller berry size and lower sugar–acid ratio. These findings can be useful for grape growers and researchers in optimizing PGR and floral cluster thinning treatments to improve grape yield and quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Primary Production and Processing in Viticulture)
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19 pages, 2077 KiB  
Article
Stable Soil Moisture Alleviates Water Stress and Improves Morphogenesis of Tomato Seedlings
by Ge Li, Huaiyu Long, Renlian Zhang, Patrick J. Drohan, Aiguo Xu and Li Niu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030391 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
Previous studies on soil water–plant relations have mostly focused on the soil water content (SWC), while the effect of soil moisture stability on plant growth has received surprisingly little attention. Potted tomato seedlings were used to examine the effect of stable soil moisture [...] Read more.
Previous studies on soil water–plant relations have mostly focused on the soil water content (SWC), while the effect of soil moisture stability on plant growth has received surprisingly little attention. Potted tomato seedlings were used to examine the effect of stable soil moisture (SM) and fluctuating soil moisture (FM) on plant growth, development, and water use efficiency (WUE) in this study. The results showed that (i) soil moisture stability significantly affected the growth and development, photosynthetic characteristics, morphological traits, root morphology, and water physiological characteristics of seedling tomatoes, with SM being more conducive for most of these indices. (ii) SM improved the leaf WUE by reducing the content of abscisic acid in plants, regulating plant osmotic substances, maintaining a high gas exchange rate, and promoting plant morphology. (iii) SM could avoid water stress on tomato seedlings; even if the SWC of SM was equal to or lower than the SWC of FM, water stress would not occur under SM, whereas it would occur under FM. Overall, compared with FM, SM promoted beneficial plant morphology, maintained a high gas exchange rate, and did not induce water stress for tomato seedlings—ultimately improving WUE. This effect was more effective under low-SWC conditions than under high-SWC conditions. These findings provide a new perspective and theoretical basis for soil water–plant relations and indicate that SM has great potential in promoting plant growth and improving WUE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biotic and Abiotic Stress)
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14 pages, 3077 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Applied Irrigation Water for High Marketable Yield, Fruit Quality and Economic Benefits of Processing Tomato Using a Low-Cost Wireless Sensor
by Antonio El Chami, Raffaele Cortignani, Davide Dell’Unto, Roberto Mariotti, Piero Santelli, Roberto Ruggeri, Giuseppe Colla and Mariateresa Cardarelli
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030390 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Water management is a key factor to optimize fruit quality and yield of processing tomatoes which are site-specific and influenced by environmental conditions e.g., soil, temperature, precipitation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacity of a low-cost wireless soil moisture [...] Read more.
Water management is a key factor to optimize fruit quality and yield of processing tomatoes which are site-specific and influenced by environmental conditions e.g., soil, temperature, precipitation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacity of a low-cost wireless soil moisture sensor in determining the irrigation level for optimizing the marketable yield, fruit quality and economic profit of processing tomato. A two-years (2017–2018) trial was conducted in open field, applying nine drip irrigation levels controlled by wireless soil moisture capacitance sensors. The irrigation levels were as follows: 13.2, 16.7, 25.4, 33.3, 50.0, 62.3, 82.5, 100 and 186.8% of water restitution based on soil moisture sensor readings. Because of the crop stress induced by heavy rainfalls occurring in 2018 growing season, total and marketable yields reached higher maximum values in 2017 than 2018. In 2017, total and marketable yields were maximized by supplying 92.8% and 96.2% of irrigation level, respectively. Moreover, 95.6% and 91.2% of irrigation level were necessary in 2018 to maximize total and marketable yield, respectively. In both growing seasons, marketable yield variation was due to changes of both fruit number and fruit mean weight. Total soluble solids of fruit juice linearly decreased by increasing the irrigation level with a more pronounced effect in the driest growing season (2017). Economic analysis demonstrated that 100% of irrigation level should be preferred by the Italian farmers since it maximized the operating margins of processing tomatoes in both years. To conclude, the use of the tested low-cost wireless soil moisture sensor is an effective tool to manage the level of irrigation and optimize the processing tomato yield and economic benefits for farmers. Full article
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20 pages, 842 KiB  
Article
Identification of Causal Gene-Specific SNP Markers for the Development of Gynoecious Hybrids in Cucumber (Cucumis sativa L.) Using the PathoLogic Algorithm
by Manikanda Boopathi Narayanan, Shobhana V. Gnanapanditha Mohan, Praneetha Subramanyam, Rajasree Venkatachalam and Kesavan Markkandan
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030389 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1495
Abstract
Although the genome sequence of cucumber is publicly available, only a limited number of functional markers are in store for developing gynoecious hybrids using Indian genotypes. This study reported novel SNPs and InDels in the exonic regions of genes involved in gynoecy using [...] Read more.
Although the genome sequence of cucumber is publicly available, only a limited number of functional markers are in store for developing gynoecious hybrids using Indian genotypes. This study reported novel SNPs and InDels in the exonic regions of genes involved in gynoecy using two parents and their hybrid with genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) by generating 3.547 Gb of raw data. Using NSDC reference genome GCA_000004075.2, a total of 40,143, 181,008 and 43,612 SNPs were identified, among which 514 were polymorphic between male and female parents but monomorphic between the male parent and the hybrid (confirming hybridity). We further identified that, out of those 514 SNPs, 74 were within the exonic regions of the sex-specific genes. The most interesting functional marker in this study was SNP 2,13,85,488, identified in the gene CsaV3_6G037780 G3I-38214 on chromosome 6, encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase 1 (ACS1), which plays a key role in female flower production, as indicated in CuCyc with the PathoLogic algorithm. The InDel analysis also identified a variation inside the gene CsaV3_6G304050 G3I-37940, encoding histone lysine N-methyl transferase, involved in flowering and female gametophyte development. Thus, this study has identified gynoecy-specific functional markers; upon further validation, these markers will accelerate the evolution of gynoecious hybrids in India and global cucumber breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Vegetable Breeding, Genetics and Genomics)
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12 pages, 714 KiB  
Article
Impact of GA3 on Sugar and Lipid Degradation during Annona x atemoya Mabb. Seed Germination
by Carolina Ovile Mimi, Marília Caixeta Sousa, Patrícia Luciana Carriel Corrêa, Ivan De-la-Cruz-Chacón, Carmen Sílvia Fernandes Boaro and Gisela Ferreira
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030388 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Gibberellins act to overcome dormancy and increase the germination rate of seeds of several species, including the genus Annona. Considering that Annona seeds have a high lipid content and have few sugars, the degradation of such reserves from the application of gibberellins [...] Read more.
Gibberellins act to overcome dormancy and increase the germination rate of seeds of several species, including the genus Annona. Considering that Annona seeds have a high lipid content and have few sugars, the degradation of such reserves from the application of gibberellins has not been described so far. This study aimed to evaluate how the application of different gibberellic acid (GA3) concentrations acts on the sugar and lipid degradation pattern during the germination of atemoya seeds (Annona x atemoya Mabb.). Therefore, two experiments were carried out, one to evaluate the effect of GA3 on the germination process and another to evaluate the degradation of the reserves. To study the effect of GA3 on germinability, four treatments with GA3 concentrations of 0, 250, 500, and 1000 mg L−1 were used. To study the degradation of reserves, the four GA3 concentrations and five collection times were used (dry seed; seed with 1 day, 5 days, and 10 days of water acquisition; and seeds with primary root emission). Atemoya seeds showed an increase in germinability and changes in the sugar and lipid degradation pattern during the germination process in response to the treatments with GA3. Lipid and sugar degradation was observed from 24 h after seed immersion in GA3. The highest GA3 concentrations (500 and 1000 mg L−1) led to increases of 25% and 20%, respectively, in the germination rate, intensification of lipid degradation in seeds with primary root emission, and a decrease in sugar concentration until the 5th day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Seed Dormancy and Germination of Horticultural Plants)
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11 pages, 8791 KiB  
Article
Elucidating the Anatomical Features, Adaptive and Ecological Significance of Kopsia fruticosa Roxb. (Apocynaceae)
by Shakti Nath Tripathi, Manju Sahney, Arpita Tripathi, Praveen Pandey, Hanuman Singh Jatav, Tatiana Minkina and Vishnu D. Rajput
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030387 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
Anatomical characteristics play a pivotal role in understanding the evolutionary relationship among various plant taxa and identifying species of pharmacological importance. Though the anatomical features of the family Apocynaceae have been widely recognized, there is limited research on the stem wood anatomy of [...] Read more.
Anatomical characteristics play a pivotal role in understanding the evolutionary relationship among various plant taxa and identifying species of pharmacological importance. Though the anatomical features of the family Apocynaceae have been widely recognized, there is limited research on the stem wood anatomy of Kopsia fruticosa, whereas nothing was previously known about its root wood anatomy. The present work describes and analyses its anatomy and correlates the anatomical features with the habitat and ecology of this plant. The oval shape of the young stem and the presence of unicellular trichomes, stone cells in the pith region, laticiferous canals, calcium oxalate crystals, and vascular bundles of two different sizes, viz., smaller in the broad, flattened region and more prominent on the two narrow sides, are remarkable features of the plant, which collectively may often be helpful in distinguishing K. fruticosa from other species of this genus. Apart from the previously known qualitative characteristics of the family Apocynaceae, the coalescence of pit aperture and storied pattern of vessels of K. fruticosa are newly observed features of the subfamily Rauvofiòideae. On the other hand, in the root wood, vessels are wider (33–64 μm), less frequent (about 53% more in the stem), and shorter, and the rays are larger (21–46 cells in height) and more frequent than those of stem wood; these are the valuable findings which strongly support the non-climbing nature of the studied plant. The vulnerability and mesomorphy indices for stem wood are 0.914 and 349, respectively, indicating plants’ adaptation toward a mesic habitat. The correlation of the anatomical traits of plants with the habitat and ecology represents their survivability in different situations. Consequently, anatomical features such as intraxylary phloem, vessel grouping, the storied pattern of vessels, the simple perforation plate, and intervascular vestured pits suggest that plants can tolerate drought. We firmly believe that the present study’s outcome can fulfil the research gaps of this hardy plant. Full article
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14 pages, 1636 KiB  
Article
Diagnostics and Description of a New Subspecies of Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull from Western Siberia
by Olga Cherepanova, Irina Petrova, Stanislav Sannikov and Yulia Mishchihina
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030386 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
The article presents the results of the study of fifty populations of common heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull) collected throughout its range. A phased comparative analysis (genetic, biochemical, anatomical, morphological, and ecological) was carried out with the estimation of indicators that included [...] Read more.
The article presents the results of the study of fifty populations of common heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull) collected throughout its range. A phased comparative analysis (genetic, biochemical, anatomical, morphological, and ecological) was carried out with the estimation of indicators that included two key populations—Zavodouspenskoe (Pritobolye, Western Siberia) and Luga (Baltic, Eastern Europe). It was concluded that heather growing in Western Siberia should be identified as a separate taxonomic group, giving it the status of a subspecies. The gene pool of Pritobolye populations (including Zavodouspenskoe) is represented by the completely dominant (100%) monohaplotype S, which is not found anywhere else. The heather plant growing in Zavodouspenskoe has a longer lifespan. It is distinguished by larger linear leaf dimensions (length 2.06 ± 0.09 mm), thicker cuticle (4.77 ± 0.33 μm), increased number of trichomes (18.98 ± 0.56), and a reduced number of stomata (13.60 ± 0.63) than that growing in Luga. The new subspecies differs in biochemical composition: twice less content of epicatechin (average 1.992 ± 0.005 mg g−1), three times more myricetin (average 2.975 ± 0.005 mg g−1), twice as much chlorogenic acid (average 2.763 ± 0.004 mg g−1). An ecological feature is that C. vulgaris does not grow in the swamps of Western Siberia and has a small population. This species has a high horticultural potential and requires protection as its population in Western Siberia continues to decline rapidly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Physiology under Biotic and Abiotic Stresses)
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14 pages, 2132 KiB  
Article
The Acetone Extract of Albizia lebbeck Stem Bark and Its In Vitro Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Activities
by Omer H. M. Ibrahim and Essam Y. Abdul-Hafeez
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030385 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1906
Abstract
To address the growing demand for natural sources of drugs, in addition to chemical ones, the present study aimed to explore the phytochemical and biological activity of acetone stem bark extract of Albizia lebbeck. The phytoconstituents of the derivatized acetone stem bark [...] Read more.
To address the growing demand for natural sources of drugs, in addition to chemical ones, the present study aimed to explore the phytochemical and biological activity of acetone stem bark extract of Albizia lebbeck. The phytoconstituents of the derivatized acetone stem bark extract were analyzed using Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), while the phenolic and flavonoid compounds were analyzed using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Six bacterial strains (Serratia marcescens, Acinetobacter johnsonii, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Bacillus subtilis, Erwinia carotovora, Escherichia coli) and three fungal strains (Rhizoctonia solani, Penicillium italicum, Fusarium oxysporum) were evaluated for antimicrobial activity. Furthermore, in vitro cytotoxicity was assessed against three cancer cell lines (PC-3, Caco-2, and MCF-7). Our findings indicated that the acetone extract of A. lebbeck stem bark was rich in fatty acids, with a predominance of oleic acid (19.2%). Additionally, eight phenolic acids, primarily cinnamic acid, and eight flavonoids, primarily chrysoeriol and hesperidin, were identified. It was found that the acetone extract of the A. lebbeck stem bark exhibited a high potential antibacterial effect against B. subtilis and S. marcescens and evident antifungal activity against F. oxysporum. Based on the calculated selectivity index, PC-3 cells were found to have the highest value (2.95), followed by Caco-2 cells (1.92) and MCF-7 cells (1.34). These results suggest the richness of A. lebbeck stem bark in phytochemicals with promising antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties. Full article
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14 pages, 2759 KiB  
Article
Influence of Sheep’s Wool Vegetation Mats on the Plant Growth of Perennials
by Susanne Herfort, Kerstin Pflanz, Marina-Sandra Larsen, Thomas Mertschun and Heiner Grüneberg
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030384 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1711 | Correction
Abstract
Vegetation mats for horticulture and landscaping usually consist of coconut fibre and straw. They have hardly any available nutrients and serve only as a carrier material for plant growth. Water capacity is low. By incorporating raw sheep‘s wool, nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, [...] Read more.
Vegetation mats for horticulture and landscaping usually consist of coconut fibre and straw. They have hardly any available nutrients and serve only as a carrier material for plant growth. Water capacity is low. By incorporating raw sheep‘s wool, nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and sulphur can positively influence the nutrient content of the carrier material. Water storage and water holding capacity are increased by the wool. In this study, three different thick-layered vegetation mats with different proportions of sheep’s wool and coir fibres were developed for the pre-cultivation of perennials. The focus is on the evaluation of sheep’s wool as a carrier material compared to pure coconut fibre as well as the plant growth of the eight perennial species used (Achillea clypeolata ‘Moonshine’, Achnatherum calamagrostis ‘Algäu’, Anaphalis triplinervis, Aster dumosus ‘Prof. Anton Kippenberg’, Aster dumosus ‘Silberball’, Centranthus ruber ‘Coccineus’, Coreopsis verticillata, Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosakönigin’). The vegetation mats with sheep’s wool (V1–V3) contained 192.6, 154.0, and 283.5 g nitrogen (N)/m2 and the coir mats (V4) contained 7.5 g N/m2. The water content ranged from 16.0 to 22.1 vol% for the sheep’s wool mats and 12.6 vol% for the coir mat at pF1 (is equal to matrix potential at −10 hPa). The air content ranged from 71.9 to 77.0 vol% for the sheep’s wool mat and 79.4 vol% for the coir mat at pF1. On all vegetation mats containing sheep’s wool, the overall impression of the perennials was better than in the control. Especially good were Asters. At the end of the trial, the assessment scores of Asters on the sheep’s wool mats were two scores higher than on the coir mat. Aster dumosus ‘Prof. Anton Kippenberg’ achieved an average plant height between 35.8, 35.8, and 36.5 cm on the sheep’s wool mats and 14.4 cm on the coir mat. Aster dumosus ‘Silberball’ yielded 41.3, 42.3, and 44 cm on the sheep’s wool mats and 26.7 cm on the coir mat. No significant differences regarding plant height between the different variants of sheep’s wool mats emerged. Therefore, these mats can be used as alternative planting concepts for landscaping. Full article
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14 pages, 1421 KiB  
Article
Fruit Quality of Satsuma Mandarins from Neretva Valley and Their Flavonoid and Carotenoid Content
by Luna Maslov Bandić, Kristina Vlahoviček-Kahlina, Marija Sigurnjak Bureš, Katarina Sopko Stracenski, Nenad Jalšenjak, Goran Fruk, Ana Marija Antolković and Slaven Jurić
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030383 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Mandarins are the second most farmed citrus. Consumers demand a mandarin fruit that is both tasty and excellent in quality. The fruit quality, flavonoid profile, antioxidant capacity and total carotenoid content of five varieties (‘Zorica’, ‘Chahara’, ‘Kawano Wase’, ‘Owari’ and ‘Saigon’) of Satsuma [...] Read more.
Mandarins are the second most farmed citrus. Consumers demand a mandarin fruit that is both tasty and excellent in quality. The fruit quality, flavonoid profile, antioxidant capacity and total carotenoid content of five varieties (‘Zorica’, ‘Chahara’, ‘Kawano Wase’, ‘Owari’ and ‘Saigon’) of Satsuma mandarins grown in Neretva valley (Croatia) were determined. In this research, the distribution of bioactive compounds was different for mandarin juice, dry pulp residue and dry peels. Dry peels showed higher levels of polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity. Total carotenoids were found to be in a greater concentration in dry pulp residue than in the dry peel. The highest levels of total carotenoids (543 μg β-carotene/g) were found in the dry pulp residue of ‘Owari’ and ‘Saigon’, while the lowest levels were in ‘Chahara’ (227.87 μg β-carotene/g). In dry mandarin peels, the highest levels of total carotenoids were in ‘Kawano Wase’ (227.58 μg β-carotene/g), and the lowest levels were in ‘Chahara’ (52.24 μg β-carotene/g). The most abundant component of polymethoxyflavones (PMFs) in mandarin dry peel was nobiletin, ranging from 0.204 mg/g (‘Chahara’) to 0.608 mg/g (‘Saigon’), followed by tangeretin, ranging from 0.133 mg/g (‘Chahara’) to 0.251 mg/g (‘Saigon’), and sinesestin (‘Zorica’), ranging from 0.091 mg/g to 0.353 mg/g (‘Saigon’). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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